One of the most appealing aspects of mixed martial arts is that there is no “off-season”. There are fights going on every week without fail. From the huge promotions to the small promotions, there is always something for fight fans to enjoy.

Here at The MMA Corner, we will preview the best fight taking place this week, regardless of its placement during an event.

This week’s Fight of the Week is the main event of UFC Fight Night 76 in the lightweight division between veteran Dustin Poirier (18-4 MMA, 10-3 UFC) and rising star Joe Duffy (14-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC).

On Saturday, Oct. 24, the UFC will make its third trip to Dublin, Ireland, to bring the Irish faithful UFC Fight Night 76. Rarely is the main event the best fight on the card, but this is an exception. When Poirier and Duffy’s paths collide, fireworks are guaranteed. Both men are 2-0 in the lightweight division and are ready to launch themselves into title contention.

Poirier has revitalized his career by returning to the lightweight division after eleven UFC fights in the featherweight division. Poirier made a few successful runs in pursuit of the champion Jose Aldo, but losses to Chan Sung Jung and Conor McGregor stopped a pair of win streaks and caused Poirier to rethink his career. Poirier moved up in weight following his loss to McGregor back in September of 2014, and seemingly reached his high potential once he made the move. “Diamond” has scored a pair of impressive first round knockouts in matches against Carlos Diego Ferriera and Yancy Medeiros. The Louisiana native earned the “Performance of the Night” bonus for each of those events. He has newly-found power as a lightweight and his aggressive style complements it perfectly. Poirier will have his hands full on Saturday though with one of the most promising UFC newcomers in recent memory, Joe Duffy.

Duffy’s claim to fame is being the last man to defeat McGregor. Duffy submitted the UFC star in just thirty-eight seconds in the Cage Warriors promotion back in 2010. He also has a win over current UFC fighter Norman Parke from 2010 as well. In the middle of his MMA career, Duffy accumulated a 7-0 boxing record (albeit against weak competition) in 2013. He brings a unique striking style and slick submission game to the octagon, making him a threat to his opponents from any position. His two UFC victories have showcased his wide array of skills. The Ireland native’s UFC debut opened many eyes to the great potential he possesses. He used a stiff jab and rangy punches to set up a high kick, then finished Jake Lindsey with a body punch in just 147 seconds. Duffy’s next opponent, Ivan Jorge, attempted to use clinch work to stifle the striking prowess of Duffy to no avail. Duffy was still able to develop his strong jab and when Jorge eventually got a hold of him, Duffy beautifully transitioned to a triangle after a Jorge throw. “Irish Joe” has all the tools to be a legitimate contender in the lightweight division, and that explains why he is the favorite against the long-time veteran Poirier.

This is a great stylistic matchup, which is typical of Poirier fights. He is an aggressive fighter that pushes forward no matter who is across the octagon. He has two “Fight of the Night” awards and three “Performance of the Night” awards in his UFC career. He has a list of impressive UFC finishes, from d’arce chokes to a mounted triangle armbar.  Seven of his ten UFC victorys have come via stoppage. Duffy is seen as a better Poirier. He has the slick ground game like Poirier and great finishing ability on the feet. Only one of Duffy’s fourteen victories have gone the distance. UFC Fight Night 76 will surely end with a bang, and one of these men will cement themselves as a contender in the stacked lightweight division.

 

About The Author

Danny Doherty
Staff Writer

Danny is a sophomore at Ithaca College looking to acquire a Bachelor's Degree in Sport Media. He has been an avid fan of mixed martial arts since watching the UFC’s 100 Greatest Fights special on Spike TV back in 2009. Shortly following UFC 100, Danny’s Saturdays, and most of his free time, became dedicated to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. In addition to writing for The MMA Corner, Danny works as a sports broadcaster and as a DJ for Ithaca College’s FM radio station, 92 WICB.